Medical Cannabis Dispensary in Fort Lauderdale Wants to Remove Stigma of Purchasing Marijuana

The company will soon expand its medicinal stores around South Florida

Along with well-established companies like Publix, LA Fitness and TJ Maxx, the Harbor Shops of Fort Lauderdale will now feature its first medical marijuana dispensary. Sunnyside Fort Lauderdale recently opened with community leaders and company representatives on hand to celebrate the occasion.

As one of the first medical marijuana dispensaries in Fort Lauderdale, Sunnyside, owned by Cresco Labs, aims to help normalize and simplify the cannabis buying experience by featuring a well-maintained, professional and welcoming store, which also features a painted, indoor mural crafted by celebrated artist Chuck Berrett.

“We’re all about making people feel comfortable because cannabis is wellness,” says Cris Rivera, Florida regional president of Sunnyside. “We recognize that shopping can be intimidating and overwhelming. So that’s why we are focused on education.”

In addition to providing customers with medical marijuana in various forms, the shop will provide about 20 full-time jobs to the community. Dan Lindblade, president and CEO of the Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, who advocated for the potential in the industry, says the impact will be seen well outside the area.

“This is a first-class operation and we hope there are many more to come because it means more jobs on the retail and agricultural side because you need farmers to cultivate it,” he says.

The store will feature a variety of One Plant branded products, which customers can purchase after obtaining a medical marijuana card through a state-approved doctor. Sunnyside already plans to expand throughout South Florida, including West Palm Beach, Oakland Park and North Miami in the coming months. The company will soon begin hosting community events to introduce itself to locals to help reduce the stigma previously associated with marijuana.

“We want to change the perception,” Rivera says. “We’re here to serve the community and we’re very proud to be active members of our communities.”

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Sean d'Oliveira
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